Researchers from Princeton University conducted a study to see what will prevail at the top and discovered that the Megalodon shark is the ultimate “predator of predators.”
According to a recent research, a “enormous” prehistoric shark was named the “predator of predators” for being at the top of the marine food chain.
Researchers from Princeton University conducted a study in which they rated historical predators, with the Megalodon shark coming out on top.
The most astounding aspect about Megalodons was their enormous size.
They were extinct now, but they were a species of mackerel shark that lived between 23 and 3.6 million years ago.
However, at 65 feet long, they were at least three times bigger than the largest current great white sharks and more than a match for other nearby predators.
The biggest animals, such as blue whales, whale sharks, even elephants and diplodocuses, are typically thought of as filter feeders or herbivores rather than predators, according to research author Emma Kast.
Meg died extinct just a few million years ago, but Megalodon and the other megatooth sharks were actually huge carnivores that consumed other predators.
The Megalodon was considered to be at the “highest trophic level,” or the top of the food chain, due to its size and willingness to consume other predators.
The fact that Megalodons had no known predators and hence ruled supreme supports this.
Because they begin with such tiny creatures, ocean food webs do have a tendency to be longer than the grass-deer-wolf feeding chain of terrestrial animals, according to Dr. Kast.
We need to add more than one trophic level, or apex predator, to the top of the contemporary marine food web in order to attain the trophic levels we are measuring in these megatooth sharks.
The scientists employed a unique method to analyze the nitrogen isotopes in the sharks’ teeth in order to examine the prehistoric marine food chain.
A species’ position in the food chain increases with the amount of nitrogen-15 that is found in it.
The minute levels of nitrogen that have been retained in the enamel layer of these prehistoric shark teeth have not yet been quantified by scientists.
“We have a series of shark teeth from different historical periods, and we were able to connect their trophic level vs their size,” said Zixuan (Crystal) Rao, a graduate student and co-author of the study.
Cannibalism is one strategy for certain creatures to move up the food chain, and there is evidence of it in both megatooth sharks and other extinct marine predators.